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Through Oban to Luing


Home -> Europe -> Scotland -> Travelogue Scotland -> 26 June 2009

Friday 26 June, through Oban to Luing

Cows near Appin Houses near AppinWith a pleasantly shining sun we leave this morning, first to Oban, a somewhat larger port city. We do not have a fixed final goal, but we always set an intermediate goal. First stop is in any case Oban for a cup of coffee. But when we come across side roads, like at Appin, we drive them also, you never know what you come across, but except for some some cows, beautiful landscapes and nice little houses, we see no surprises.
View on ObanIn the port of Oban we decide to take the ferry to Luing, but it goes from Cuan, about 32 kilometers away. Of course, it takes us a little longer because of the alternative routes we choose. So we have a very nice view of Oban when we leave the town on the south-west side via a narrow road. Above the city a Colosseum-like building towers, McCaig's Tower but also called McCaig's Folly (for more on Follies look at the website of Elisabeth). The banker McCaig had it built between 1895 and 1902 to provide local construction workers with work and to create a monument for his family.
Bridge over vthe Atlantic to the Isle of Seil Tigh-an-Truish InnHalfway Oban and Cuan we pass a short twisted bridge and with that we cross the Atlantic to the island of Seil which is separated from the mainland by a small stream. Immediately behind the bridge is an inn, the Tigh-an-Truish, or 'House of the trousers'. After the Jacobite uprising in 1745, the use of Gaelic but also of traditional clothing such as tartan and kilt was banned. Islanders who went to the mainland from here could change clothes here before going on the mainland.
Stay away from the edge Elisabeth near the waterWe drive to Cuan where we can directly board the ferry which takes us within 2 minutes over the 200 meter wide Cuan Sound to Luing for £ 9.65. But that is for a return ticket. Seil and Luing both belong to the Inner Hebrides and more specifically to the Slate Islands where, you may guess 3 times, slate was mined. These are some remote islands where one not comes so quickly but definitely worth it if you have the time.
Dolls along the road, Luing Houses on LuingThere are only 4 roads on Luing which is 9 km long and 2 km wide at most. We meet again and again the same people who were also on the ferry but in one way or another we all drive slightly different routes. Some 200 people live in a few villages. Slate is no longer mined but there still is the Luing cattle bred, which seems to give good meat and can withstand extreme weather conditions.
Kilchattan church, Luing Kilchattan Kirkyard, LuingNear Toberonochy is the ruin of the 12th century Kilchattan church that was used until 1685 and is now too dangerous to enter. Around it is a cemetery with several hundred ancient graves from where you have a beautiful view of the island and the surrounding water. The current church is a small white building a bit further, just like an ordinary house.
Dolls or scarecrows? House on Luing Worker's house, LuingA bit further we see some dolls along a house. Or are they scarecrows?
Most of the houses on the island are fairly detached but in the villages you can easily find small terraced houses, probably a legacy from the past when the poor workers who worked in the slate quarries could live in such houses.
Seaview from Luing Seaview from LuingWe are never far from the sea and we almost always have a view of it.
After 2 hours of driving and walking around we have seen the whole island and drive back to the north of the island to take the ferry back.
The ferry between Luing and Seil Boat near ConnelWe do not have to buy a ticket for the return journey which would make the trip quite expensive (£ 9.65 in 2009, more than £ 15 in 2018 for a small car and 2 passengers) that is also allowed. The rates for residents and for example the postman will obviously be very different, although we can not find it on the website of Calmac (the carrier).
Gatelodge on Gallanach Road bij ObanBefore Oban we take a dead-end road that goes along the coast and ends at a gate where we see a gate lodge without a sign. We are always wondering if there is also a castle somewhere behind it. From experience we know that this is not always the case, there are many estates with a kind of guard houses at the gates but with a fairly normal or small country house somewhere on the estate.
Traffic sign at the Puffin Diving Centre Boat near ObanOn the way back we stop at the Puffin Diving Center where they have made nice traffic signs. We are not going to dive because there are quite a few bad reviews (besides some good ones) on the internet about this club. We do take a walk around the site looking for more nice signs to photograph.
A boat has been hoisted on the land to be tarred, close to the picnic tables.
Through road Opening the gate and closing it againA bit further we come across a closed gate but fortunately it is made clear that it is a through road. So Elisabeth has to leave the car to open and close the gate. A fence is cheaper than building a cattle grid in the road, but it is more time-consuming.
In Oban we stop for some food and we actually find an internet cafe where everything works. No idea why we needed to be on the internet.
At the beginning of the evening we are back in Glencoe after quite a long day with a lot of kilometers on the odometer.

 


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